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Guzman Complaint

Guzman Complaint

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Published by rbrooksvv
Sandra Guzman's complaint
Sandra Guzman's complaint

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Published by: rbrooksvv on Oct 31, 2013
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11/28/2013

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK LORNA G. SCHOFIELD, District Judge:Plaintiff Sandra Guzman brings employment discrimination claimson the basis of her sex, race and national originagainst three defendants News Corporation (“News Corp.”), NYP Holdings, Inc., d/b/a the New York Post (the “Post”) and Mr. Col Allan, Editor-in-Chief of the Post(collectively “Defendants”). Plaintiff asserts claims against all Defendantsbased on section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (“§ 1981”), the New York State Human Rights Law, New York Executive Law §§ 290
et seq.
(the “NYSHRL”), and the New York City Human Rights Law and NewYork Administrative Code §§ 8-101
et seq.
(the “NYCHRL”).Plaintiff asserts claims based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e
et seq.
(“Title VII”)onlyagainst the Post and News Corp.Her claims allege discriminatory firing, retaliation and a hostile work environment. News Corp. moves for summary judgment arguing thatPlaintiff’s claimsagainst itfail because News Corp.is not Ms. Guzman’s employer and is not liable as a single or joint employer with the Post. The Post andMr.Allan move for summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiff’s harassment, discrimination and retaliation claims fail as a matter of law. --------------------------------------------------------------SANDRA GUZMAN,Plaintiff, -against- NEWS CORPORATION,NYP HOLDINGS, INC. d/b/a THE NEW YORK POST andCOL ALLAN,Defendants.-------------------------------------------------------------X:::::::::::X09 Civ. 09323 (LGS)OPINION AND ORDER 
10/28/2013
Case 1:09-cv-09323-LGS Document 170 Filed 10/28/13 Page 1 of 41
 
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For the reasons that follow, News Corp.’smotionfor summary judgment is granted.The Post’s and Mr. Allan’s summary judgment motionis denied.
I.Background
The following facts are drawn from the parties’ submissions in connection with the instant motions. The facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
A.The parties
Sandra Guzman, whois a black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican female, worked at the Post as an associate editor from July 2003 to September 29, 2009. News Corp.owns hundreds of companies worldwide. News Corp.’s subsidiaries, which are primarily media companies,employapproximately 50,000 to 60,000 individuals.ThePostpublishes the daily newspaper,
 New York Post 
, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of News America Incorporated (“NAI”), which inturn is a subsidiary of News Publishing Australia Holdings Ltd., which in turn isa subsidiary ofNews Corp.  News Corp.and the Post both have offices at 1211 Avenue of the Americas,New York,  New York.Whilethey each pay rent separately to a thirdparty, the companies share conference roomson the thirdfloor,and Post employees have access to News Corp.’s cafeteria. Plaintiff maintains, and Defendants dispute, that the Post and News Corp.share offices on the eighth floor. Each company has its own human resource, finance, information technology and securitydepartments. The companies maintain separate bank accountsand separate financial books and records. News Corp. employees are not involved in the printing or distribution of the Post’s daily newspaper.
Case 1:09-cv-09323-LGS Document 170 Filed 10/28/13 Page 2 of 41
 
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Defendant Col Allan has been employed as Editor-in-Chief of the Postsince 2001. Defendant Allanwas a member of the Post’s Executive Committee and had the authority to make certain decisions concerning Plaintiff’s employment.During the relevant times, the Post’s Executive Committee was comprised of Paul Carlucci (Publisher), Col Allan (Editor-in-Chief), Jennifer Jehn (Human Resources), Michael Racano (Chief Financial Officer) and Amy Scialdone (Human Resources), who were employees of the Post. In addition, Les Goodstein attended Executive Committee meetings starting in January 2006 as head of the Community Newspaper Group,a separate company owned by NAI.Plaintiff contends that Mr. Goodstein was employed by both NAI and News Corp.; Defendants maintain that Mr. Goodstein was employed only by NAI. Plaintiff highlights individuals who had roles at News Corp. or NAI, who also were involved at the Post. Of the four members on the Post’s Board of Directors, two—Mr. Rupert Murdoch and Mr. David Devoe—occupied similar positions on News Corp.’s Board. Mr. Lachlan Murdoch,the Publisher of the Post from 2002 to 2005, was simultaneously COO at  News Corp., when he hired Ms. Guzman. Mr. Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman of News Corp. as well as the Post, had a role in hiring two successive Publishers of the Post: Mr. Paul Carlucciand Mr. Jesse Angelo.As publisher of the Post, Mr. Carlucci reported directly to the COO of  News Corp. JordanLippner, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at NAI, also had roles at the Post and News Corp.For example, Post employees could lodge complaintswith Mr. Lippnerrelating to their work environment at the Post, and Mr. Lippner served as a 30(b)(6) witness for the Post in the present litigation.
Case 1:09-cv-09323-LGS Document 170 Filed 10/28/13 Page 3 of 41

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